Aliens have invaded Earth. The King of Planet Voice has sent his son, Prince Sasaki, and his chief tactician, Seki, to Earth, disguised as an ordinary Japanese businessman, with the intent of turning Mega-Corp Science Electronics into a power strong enough to Take Over the World. Fortunately, they are opposed in this goal by a secret department of the Right Trading Company - the Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman!
The series chronicles the adventures of young Salaryman Hiroya Matsumoto, Shinesman Red, and his co-workers, who form a team of five. They fight the aliens of Planet Voice with highly impractical weapons and the support of the Right Trading Company's Human Resources Department.
Shinesman is an Affectionate Parody of the Sentai genre, originally created as a manga by Kaimu Tachibana which was serialized in Comic NORA from 1993 to 1998, and then adapted as an OVA by produced by Gakken note , MOVIC and Aniplex in 1996 with animation by Production I.G, which ran for two episodes.
This series contains examples of:
- Accidental Marriage: Matsumoto accidentally saw Princess Shiina's bare skin, which according to the law of Planet Voice, means she has to either kill him or marry him. In the manga, where Shina does not exist, the same thing happens - except with Sasaki.
- Affectionate Parody: Of Tokusatsu stories.
- Alien Invasion: of the 'stealthy' type. Sasaki is doing it through corporate espionage and guile, not via flashy armies.
- Bland-Name Product: Averted in the original where Yamadera's car is specifically a Mitsubishi Montero. Played straight in the dub however where it's called a "Montage" instead.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Having some quirk seems to be a requirement for working for Right Trading.
- Brainwashed: Seki. He was supposed to try to stop the invasion, but ended up working for it
- Canon Immigrant: Shiina, who only exists in the OVA.
- The Captain: Kyoko Sakakibara. Leader of the team and CEO of Right Trading.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Parodied — Kyoko chose the team's colors by asking each member what their favorite color for a superhero costume would be; most of the members chose "business-friendly" colors to escape the apparent trick question. Unfortunately, the result is succinctly described as "Your colors SUCK!"
- Cool Car: Played With. Yamadera's Montero (Montage in the dub - that was the North American name for it). It's just a normal small SUV, but he treats it like a unique one-of-a-kind vehicle.
- Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: A corporate sponsored sentai team.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Seki and Sasaki's cover identities
- Dating Catwoman: Matsumoto and Princess Shiina.
- The Danza: Invoked. The entire cast in the Japanese version. It's deliberate; all of the characters' surnames were borrowed from notable voice actors at the time the manga was written, and the corresponding actors voiced the characters for the OVA. In other words, in a clever ploy on the author's part, she picked out voice actors for the characters in advance.
- The Ditz: Princess Shiina. Totally unfamiliar with Earth culture, outside of watching anime and cartoons on her way to the place."Guys, I don't think her elevator goes to the top floor""Yeah, she's one OVA short of a series." — The Shinesmen, watching Shiina introduce herself. (dub)
- Evil Overlord: What Sasaki wants to be.
- Genre Savvy: Matsumoto's little brother Yota is a Sentai fanboy, and provides Matsumoto with crucial Genre Savviness.
- Handsome Lech: Hayami:"I have a date with Turkish twins!"
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Hitomi Kasahara/Lafure. Seki's sister, who is the one who helped Kyoko create the Shinesmen.
- Human Alien: Prince Sasaki, Seki, Princess Shiina and Lafure (AKA: Hitomi Kasahara)
- Improbable Weapon User: The Shinesmen's weaponry:
"Ever wish you just had a shotgun?""I don't even have a nail file!"
- Tie-clip bombs! Cuff lasers! Business card cutters!
- Lampshade Hanging: A good portion of the English dub's humor.
- Living with the Villain: Right Trading does not know about Seki and Sasaki's disguises, and Seki and Sasaki do not know the Shinesmen's secret identities. Matsumoto, Hayami, Sasaki, and Seki sign business deals with each other frequently.
- Mega-Corp: Both Science Electronics and the Right Trading Company are fairly large corporations that each occupy an entire skyscraper.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Matsumoto flashing his business card in the second OVA; probably the greatest business card flashing ever made.
- Office Lady: Hidaka and Hitomi. Kyoko is a CEO instead.
- Protectorate: Each member of the team has their own protectorate, as revealed in the climax of the first episode:
- Matsumoto's little brother
- Hayami's latest date
- Yamadera's Montage
- Ono's daughter
- Hidaka's fashion sense
- Running Gag:
- Calling Shiina a bimbo.
- "I think she's one OVA short of a series."
- Salaryman: What the Shinesmen and Sasaki and Seki are when not involved in Sentai battles.
- Sentai: an Affectionate Parody of the genre.
- Show Within a Show: Greatmen, a more traditional Sentai show.
- Swirly Energy Thingy: "Shiina, get in the vortex."; Dub version: "Shiina, get in the glowing green square."
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: As typical of Toku shows
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: "I've got a date with Turkish twins!"
- Unwanted Harem: Hidaka is the only named female character that has no sexual tension with Matsumoto.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: The people in the secret headquarters who coordinate the Shinesmen and can send them their suits.